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Showing posts from 2016

Pumpkin Barfi Pie

Though I was being lazy to post recipes online of late, I am very much keeping myself busy in the quicknhealthy kitchen :-). This Thanksgiving season, I decided to go a little extravagant to make two desserts. One was the most trending dessert of the season from NYT, Cranberry Curd Tart. For the second one I wanted to stick with my favorite TG dessert ingredient, our local Pumpkin. I also wanted to bring an Indian touch to my dessert (no surprise there!). That is how this classic 'Pumpkin Barfi Pie' originated. The quick baked crust is flour-less, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. The filling made on stove top is dairy-free, vegan and sweetened with just enough cane sugar. It can be substituted with coconut sugar or other choice of sweeteners, I just used unrefined cane sugar so that my bright yellow pumpkin color is retained in the dessert. 


Ingredients:
For the crust:
Almond powder - 1 cup (3/4 cup almonds ground in a coffee grinder of dry blender)Dried shredded coconut - 3/4…

Alu Quinoa Tikki

I have not posted a recipe in such a long time. This summer has been really busy, in a good way. We have been spending a lot of time outdoors getting the much needed fresh air, Vitamin D, etc. Honestly,  I have not been very creative in the kitchen, atleast nothing worth a post. On a few occasions when I did, just did not have the patience to post.
Almost all of summer, I have been cooking only fresh local produce from our local farmer. They have been really kind to us, they were growing Red Edible Amaranth, Okra and tender green beans along with so many other varieties of fresh veggies. I am usually not big on potatoes but there is no match for fresh potatoes. So I end up buying potatoes from our farmer quite often. This recipe was first made at the quicknhealthy kitchen as a quick-fix light dinner. It was made with leftover cooked potatoes and cooked quinoa. It can be served as a snack, or as a light meal, optionally have a serving of veggies, a cup of soup, or a small salad on the…

Sun-dried er Oven-dried Tomatoes

It is that time of the year when the home grown/ local farm vegetable season is coming to an end. This is also the time when we think of ways to preserve some of the summer flavors. A couple of years ago I decided that I am going to make my own sun-dried tomatoes when I get an abundance of tomatoes and sun light (during the 3 months of summer in this part of the world). First trial was literally a wash thanks to an unexpected rain (it is called New England for a reason :-) ). Couple of more unsuccessful trials later, I figured out that this needs way too much patience, planning and care.., each of which are not in abundance for me. I went the QnH way and figured I might want to stick to the oven, sort of mimicking the dehydration using the lowest temperature of the oven. I had to play around with the timing and the cut of the tomatoes a few times to get this perfected. 



Ingredients:

Tomatoes (I used small Campari tomatoes) - about 60 Himalayan pink salt (or rock salt) - a couple of pin…

Meditteranean Barley Pilaf

There are some recipes that you adapt from a friend, from a cookbook or from the web, and your family loves it so much that you keep making it again and again. You add your touches to it and at some point you start owning the recipe. This pilaf is one such recipe, which I had made a few years back for a   Meditterarean themed lunch. This can be made with farro as well, though barley has a better taste and texture. The use of fennel complements the spices and mint sauce well, but if you are not sure about fennel, you can omit and just use onion alone. This can be served as a full meal which is full of flavor and is made with wholesome ingredients. This is best served warm or at room temperature and hence is very ideal to take to pot-luck parties. 
Ingredients: Barley - 1 cup (soaked overnight)Black chickpea - 1/2 cup (soaked overnight)Bay leaf - 1Black pepper - 1/2 tsp (crushed)Sea salt - as per tasteMasala powder - 1-2 Tbs (see below for proportion)Red onion - 1Fennel - 1 bulbEV olive o…

Mediterranean Inspired Breakfast Bowl

I have another savory breakfast idea for today. It is inspired from my favorite cuisine, yes you guessed it right, Mediterranean cuisine!! Plenty of beans, vegetables, olive oil.. perfect for a filling and satisfying breakfast. Chickpea can be replaced with any other bean, and for bean hummus, play with your favorite beans. I am substituting tahini with almond butter, again that is just my preference. With a little bit of planning and prep work you can put this bowl together in no time for your busy morning. It is clean, gluten-free, vegan, diary-free and above all quicknhealthy. Serve this for breakfast or for lunch, or for dinner as well :-). 


Ingredients:
Chickpeas - 3/4 cup (Soaked over night)Vaal Beans - 1/2 cup (Soaked over night) (Substitute with Fava, Lima or Cannellini beans)Spaghetti squash - 2 cups (cubes) Garlic - 2-3 clovesEV olive oil - 4 Tbs Cumin seeds - 1 tspSea salt - as per tasteHomemade almond butter - 2 TbsLemon juice - from half a lemonLemon wedges - to serve
Direc…

Curried Sorghum Stuffed Bell Peppers

Sorghum is a new addition to the quick'n'healthy kitchen. Though on the packet it claims to be an ancient grain from India, I have never had it before in my life :). A drought and heat resistant crop very much suitable for sustainable farming just like many other millet varieties. It is nutrient rich and adds a distinct texture and flavor to your dishes. Use them in salads, breakfast porridges, soups, pilafs or stuffed in veggies like in this colorful and flavorful stuffed bell peppers. You can call it bell pepper stuffed with 'curried' sorghum :). I would like to remind my non-Indian readers that curry is not a spice in itself like most of you think, but it is a mixture of spices which varies in mix and proportion based on who is making the 'curry' :). 



Ingredients:
Sorghum - 3/4 cup (Soaked overnight) Multi-color bell peppers - 4 Tomato - 3-4 (pureed) Red onion - 1 small (chopped fine) Garlic - 3-4 cloves (minced) Green chilly - 1-2 (minced) (substitute with re…

Spicy Soba Noodles w/ Almond-butter Sriracha Sauce

Here is a spicy and flavorful Asian inspired noodles recipe. You can make this with any good quality noodles, soba, udon, rice noodles or even your spirooli cut veggie noodles. Though this is best served warm, it can be served at room temperature too, and hence can be great for pot-lucks. Add your choice of vegetables to good measure. As always, use clean and organic ingredients as much as possible.


Ingredients:
Organic Soba Noodles - 1 packet (I buy this brand - Hakubaku or KOYO)Homemade almond butter - 3 Tbs Homemade Sriracha sauce - 2 Tbs (more or less as per preference)Bell pepper (yellow/orange/red) - 1Carrot - 1 mediumFresh ginger root - 1 inchGarlic - 2 cloves Toasted sesame oil - 2 Tbs Sesame seeds - 1 Tbs Sea salt - as per tasteRed chilly powder - optional (if you need extra heat)Directions: 
Cook Noodles as per package instructions, rinse in cold water and keep aside.Meanwhile, slice the bell pepper, carrots, ginger and garlic into matchstick slices.Heat sesame oil in a pan, ad…

Turmeric Cumin Oats w/ Lemony Avocado Cream

I gave you a sweet breakfast in my last post, but today I have a savory breakfast idea. Made with a small list of wholesome and clean ingredients and can be put together in no time. There is a lot of buzz around turmeric these days, but that is not something new to Indian cuisine. Indian cuisine uses turmeric in pretty much everything. Here, I am just adding a dash of Indian flavors to the simple, everyday oatmeal. 


Ingredients:
Thick rolled oats - 1 cup (optionally soaked overnight)Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspSea salt - as per tasteCumin seeds - 1/2 tspDirections:
Start boiling oats in 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder. Cook till well done.Toast cumin seeds in a small pan and mix with the cooked oats.Serve warm with a dollop of lemon avocado cream.Makes about 3 servings. Enjoy!!
Lemon Avocado Cream:
Avocado - 2Lemon juice - from half a lemonGreen chilly minced - 1-2 (optional as per taste) Sea salt - as per tasteCilantro chopped - 1/4 cup (substitute with your preferred chopped herbs…

Apple-Pie Chia-Pudding

Apple-Pie Chia-Pudding does sound like a dessert right? I am talking about an awesome breakfast idea though. If you are using wholesome and clean ingredients, you don't really need to worry about eating dessert for breakfast anyway :). The best part is that you can put this together the night before, and you have a high energy, wholesome and satisfying breakfast to start your busy day. Made with wholesome and organic ingredients, and sweetened with only dates and an optional dose of raw honey. No refined or processed ingredients are used and it is gluten free, dairy free, raw, vegan-friendly and quick'n'healthy:). 


Ingredients:
Apples - 3 Dates - 1/4 cup Honey - 1 Tbs (optional)Fresh ginger - 1 tspCinnamon - 1 tspNutmeg - 1/4 tspCardamom - 1 skin removedHimalayan pink salt - a pinchLemon juice - 1 Tbs Chia seeds - 6 TbsHomemade almond milk - 2 cups
Directions:
Soak chia seeds in almond milk overnightTo make 'apple pie': Roughly chop one apple. Add to a blender jar alo…

Coffee Bites

For the coffee lover traveler looking for a good bite, here is something just for you. When I am on travel or just on a long drive I like to carry a bunch of homemade goodies with me that I can reach out when I need a quick bite. Usually I make small bite sized bars or balls which give you some quick energy. Here is a recent addition that was added to that collection. This one is for the coffee lovers who like good coffee flavor and are looking for a quick coffee feel without the diary and sugar that goes with a cup of coffee. Made with organic German instant coffee powder and pure raw cacao powder, and sweetened with only dates. Clean, gluten-free, diary free, no-sugar-added snack coffee bites for your long afternoons at work, for long drives, pre-workout or any time you need a quick bite, a coffee bite. 


Ingredients:
Almonds - 1 cupDates - 1 cup packedOrganic instant coffee powder - 1 TbsCacao powder - 2 TbsHimalayan pink salt - a pinch Directions: Pulse almonds in a food processor or …

QuickNHealthy Avalose Podi

Avalose podi is a snack which is made with coconut and roasted rice flour, and a hint of ginger and cumin. It is served as-is with a sprinkle of sugar, or with mashed bananas and warm milk, or as a combination of all of these.  It is a staple snack from Kerala, which many of us malayalees might remember fondly as an after-school snack.



Like many other regional delicacies, I have never tried making the original version :), I have only tasted versions made by different people I know.  This one here is a quicknhealthy version, and that is not surprising right:-). In this version, I am using flattened rice (aka poha) instead of rice, and I am using dates instead of sugar. As always I try to use as much of organic ingredients as possible. Here is a vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free snack.

Ingredients: 
Aval (poha or flattened rice) - 1 cup Dried shredded coconut - 1 cup Fresh ginger root - 1/2 inch (or use 1/2 tsp dried ginger)Himalayan pink salt - a pinchDates - 8-10  (I used degl…

Plantain Bread

For the Plantain fans, here are two more recipes that can be made from this incredible fruit. For folks new to Plantain, try it and u will be a convert in no time. My son loves to have bread sometimes, but wheat/gluten does not suit us well. We are not gluten free, but try to reduce it. Having bread in the morning is very useful as there is not much prep required when everyone is looking for a quick bite and leave for work/school. This is not your regular bread, but is a contemporary bread, something that you can cut into whatever shape and size that you prefer. It has no flour in it as made with just ripe plantains and coconut. It is Vegan, Paleo and Gluten-free. There is another savory version with the unripe plantain which gives a different flavor,  texture and color. The best part of this plantain bread is that it tastes awesome, and is really quick'n'healthy :-)

Ripe Plantain Bread
Well ripened plantain - 4Dried shredded coconut - 2 cupsFlax meal - 2 tspHimalayan pink salt…

Ripe Plantain Cookies

Being from Kerala, we love plantains and can eat it in all ways it can come, raw/ripe, fried/steamed/raw/cooked/baked/mashed and in all shapes :-). It is by far the most versatile of all foods.  Plantain is a wholesome food by itself and we try to include it in many recipes. I was looking for a good wholesome no-flour cookie and so figured I should try it with plantain. This is not your regular cookie which is aerated with the addition of leavening agents. This is more of a dense energy-bar-style cookie. It has a character and chewiness, kids (including the big ones at home ;-)) love it and when you add the fact that it does not have any flour, is gluten free and no added sugar it makes it even better. Feel no guilt on eating more of this. Yes, it is a whole meal by itself, imagine having a meal just with cookies :-). Serve this as a to-go breakfast or as an after-school snack. 


Ingredients:
Well ripe plantain - 1Well ripe banana - 1 Almonds - 1 cup (recommended soaking for 8 hours)Rai…

Carrot Halwa 'Cheese'cake

East meets west on Valentine's Day ♥♥♥ ... Here is a fusion of 2 classic desserts, one from India and one from the US. Walk into any punjabi (or most indian restaurants outside of india) restaurant and you cannot miss 'Gajar ka halwa' (Carrot halwa). The same is true of New York and its quintessential Cheesecake.

I have used the carrot halwa as the base for my 'cheese'cake made with wholesome ingredients such as cashew nuts, coconut oil and raw honey. For the Valentine Day, I have modified it by adding some beets to the carrot giving it a natural red color. Try it and you will really feel the halwa and cheese melting in your tongue with their unique tastes.  Happy Valentine's Day ♥♥♥
For carrot halwa base:
Carrots - 2 mediumBeets - 1 small Organic unrefined cane sugar - 1/2 cup Cardamom - 4-5 pods (skin removed and powdered)Homemade non-dairy milk - 1/2 cup (recipes hereFor 'cheese'cake:
Raw cashew nuts - 1 cup (preferably soaked for 3-4 hours) Coconut oi…

Vegetarian Pastelón - Ripe Plantain Lasagna

Each year I look forward to Thanksgiving day. One reason of course is the spirit of being thankful for everything that we have, good health, family, friends, peaceful life - everything that we often take for granted till it is taken away from us. Another reason is that I look forward to cooking the TG day menu. This time again we picked the theme of 'food from around the world' - a dish from each continent. I picked Australian lamb stew and Moroccan anise bread to go with the stew. From Asia I picked Udon noodles made with homemade almond-butter Sriracha sauce, and French green beans salad from Europe. My husband did a big project making hard apple cider and sparkling apple cider with farm fresh apples. I then made a pumpkin no-cheese cheesecake which took care of North America.

Now I was left with South America. I toyed with different dishes, but nothing really caught my attention. Then came the idea of making something with plantain. My guests were all going to be Mallus and …

Homemade Body Butter - New & Improved

Body butter is something I had been keen on making for a while and my initial trial came out well, but I was not happy with the consistency as it melted a lil during warmer weather. So here is an improved version and I am very happy with the result, have test marketed it with a few close friends and have their Thumbs-up as well.
I started off with my usual set of preferred ingredients. As always my hubby would start with Coconut oil, which is an all-purpose item for him and is the only cosmetic on his desk :-). Problem with coconut oil is that it liquefies at warmer temperatures, so wanted something that can neutralize it and beeswax was the perfect foil, besides the fact that it has great medicinal properties. Then I selected the rest of the ingredients for their skin nourishing properties. Finally I added a tinge of rose essential oil for a mild fragrance. The result is a very pleasing body butter made with simple ingredients that is wonderful for your skin and suitable for all weath…